I hope 2020 pans out to be a good year for everyone.
I have to say that I am a little disappointed that we didn’t see RMu released in 2019. I am not that surprised but I am disappointed. If the game was close to release I would have expected to see a ramping up of marketing and promotion activities. There are so many places to get exposure these days. I am basically a nobody in the gaming world and even I get multiple offers to be interviewed or join discussion panels for podcasts and discord live chats every month. Prior to the release of RMu, I would expect to see Nicholas everywhere!
I also expect to see a review copy as or before RMu hits the (virtual) shelves. It would be ironic if it ends up that I have done 10 part read through reviews of HARP (which is old) and Zweihander (which is a direct competitor as a gritty d100 setting neutral RPG) but don’t get to review RMu which is the lifeblood of the blog going forward from 2020 onwards.
If you have been reading the blog fanzine in 2019 you will know I have been writing an RMu adventure path. That went from the first encounter to a climactic finale in 2019. In 2020 I am building that outwards, adding side quests and more setting information. The intention is to make it less railroady and give GMs more options. The January issue looks at Halfling culture in my south Asian setting and adds in halfling related side quests.
2020 also looks like it is being targetted by a resurgent RuneQuest. They are pushing their creator resources and kickstarting (figuratively) their Community Content Programme. Chaosium has also run discounts on Call of Cthulhu core rules. If there is a resurgence in interest in the 1980s brands, this could be a good thing for Rolemaster. The difficulty is that it could also mean that between Zwei and RuneQuest, how many d100 systems does a gamer need and if RQ is first to market will that have scratched the retro itch before RMu gets a chance?
It also calls into question the multi-core book model. RuneQuest is offered as a single volume complete system for under $30 and Zwei does the same for under $40. The RQ free quickstart has even won and ENNIE award for the best free product. I do worry that the price of entry into the RM world could be too high. I look forward to seeing Nicholas’s plans for the launch of RMu.
It feels like my Rolemaster life is all on hold waiting for RMu. My game and my playing aren’t scheduled until February, and January can seem like a long, dark month. I think we should all send positive thoughts to Nicholas’s way and hope that the editing passes all go smoothly. I don’t want to be writing a whistful post about the imminent arrival of RMu this time next year.